Articles Under: Catechesis and Culture

If you were being investigated and the detective had access to highly detailed records of your personal income and spending, what would this evidence reveal about your Christian commitment? How does your credit card transaction registry provide a clue to the seriousness of your Christian faith? Do these questions sound strange? Oftentimes we aren’t very thoughtful about the relationship between money and faith, yet the way we spend our money reveals quite a bit about who we are and what we value. Spending Money Is a Moral Action Unlike other creatures, human beings possess an innate capacity for truth and... Read more
It’s no secret that over the past year the use of media has become a near necessity, causing its importance in our youth programs to skyrocket. The conversation about what it looks like to effectively use media within the realm of youth ministry is more paramount today than it has ever been in the Church’s history. There is certainly no lack of differing perspectives when it comes to the best media practices, and there’s not necessarily “one right way” to engage with the youth culture through media. But there are most definitely some dangers in regard to the use of... Read more
On June 25, 2020, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, headed by its president, His Excellency Archbishop Rino Fisichella, presented for the Universal Church a new Directory for Catechesis . The first directory, named the General Catechetical Directory , was issued on April 11, 1971, by the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy and approved by His Holiness St. Paul VI. The second directory, named the General Directory for Catechesis , was promulgated by the same Congregation on August 15, 1997, and was approved by Pope St. John Paul II. In 2013, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI... Read more
St. Paul did his homework carefully before proclaiming Christ to the Athenians. It paid off. In Acts 17, we find St. Paul at the Areopagus preaching about the resurrection of the dead (we will hear this reading during the sixth week of Easter Season, Wednesday, May 12) and introducing God as He in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). This verse probably sounds familiar. Indeed, it is prayed at Mass in Eucharist Prayer I. But there’s an interesting back story to this particular phrase—it is not originally from St. Paul. In fact, he borrowed it... Read more
It is not a secret that knowledge of the faith continues to decline. It is tempting to insist simply upon teaching more doctrine, but this overlooks a more fundamental problem. What is catechesis really about? It is not simply knowledge of the faith but knowledge of the living God, a knowledge that includes and goes beyond simply the intellect, as it must include a complete transformation of life. We are not simply missing knowledge of the faith but the entire structure of life and culture that should undergird and support this knowledge. The Cultural Foundation for Catechesis Grace builds upon... Read more
Western Culture needs renewal. This task of ennobling culture is vast indeed, and requires each of us to be a part of it. There are no sidelines or bystanders. It has been said that “Culture is the root of politics, and religion is the root of culture.” [i] To go a step further, religion rests upon the worship of God, and the Eucharist is at the center of true worship. Therefore, the task of ennobling culture requires ennobling religion and, correspondingly, ennobling worship, at the center of which we find the living God present in the Eucharist. Christian disciples must... Read more
In his encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio , John Paul II makes the claim that “since culture is a human creation and is therefore marked by sin, it too needs to be ‘healed, ennobled and perfected.’” [1] The Intellectual Backstory Like many statements in ecclesial documents, one needs to know the intellectual history behind the statement above—the “backstory” as it were. Here part of the backstory is the Romantic-era approach to the subject of culture, including the idea that every national group has its own culture and that each and every national culture is equally of value. In other words, it... Read more
Many readers of this journal are familiar with how John Paul II describes the definitive aim of catechesis. Our objective as teachers of the faith is to lead those we teach into communion, into real intimacy, with Jesus Christ. [1] He is not only to be our model and example. He is not merely our brother and friend. And he is not only our High Priest and Divine Teacher, revealing to us the right way to see reality and live within it. These are some of the important contours of our relationship with him, but there is more. Frank Sheed,... Read more
¿Cómo se hace catequesis durante una pandemia? Varios meses de separación forzosa de su grupo de RICA o su clase de Primera Comunión no es una contingencia para la cual es probable que algún catequista haya planeado. Sin embargo, aun cuando la vida ordinaria cambia más allá de toda familiaridad, el llamado que hace Cristo a Sus fieles a profundizar nuestra relación con Él ha permanecido constante – y también ha sido constante la necesidad de catequesis que hace eco de aquel llamado divino en Su Iglesia. La sombría realidad de la cuarentena con su encierre ha incitado una respuesta... Read more
How do you catechize during a time of pandemic? Several months of enforced separation from their RCIA group or First Holy Communion class is not a contingency for which any catechist will likely have planned. Yet even as ordinary life changes beyond all recognition, Christ’s call to his faithful to grow deeper into relationship with him has remained constant—and so has the need for the catechesis that echoes that divine call in his Church. The grim reality of lockdown has prompted an immediate and inventive response from catechists. In the Diocese of Portsmouth, UK, this response has taken various forms... Read more